PureVPN Review – Introduction
PureVPN is a reputable name in the VPN market. Its magnanimous network setup and services set a tone for higher expectations. We are glad to say that PureVPN lives up to its hype. We have elaborated the highs and lows of PureVPN here in our review. Feel free to skim through our PureVPN review to know more about it.
PureVPN has successfully managed to impress straight from the beginning, with a comprehensive yet easy-to-navigate website. As you visit their site, you will find an abundance of features including money-back guarantees, a 24/7 customer support, and over 1 million satisfied customers; everything that makes you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a real professional VPN service. Thankfully, they have lived up to their image, offering fantastic speeds and as well as great software. The main reason for its survival is to provide free and open internet to the willing customers.
True to its word, PureVPN has done a phenomenal task of generating new valuable features for the customers. They realize the importance of keeping monthly subscription fee in check and balance. That’s why the extra features are offered as paid add-ons. The company has a mission of providing best VPN services at an affordable cost. PureVPN is considered among the top-tier of VPN service providers. Not all the features work as advertised, however, and the fact that PureVPN keeps connection logs might concern hard-core privacy advocates.
Are you looking for a top-notch VPN service and don’t mind paying for quality? Your search is over. Our PureVPN review will shed light on the strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to make an intellectual decision easily.
PureVPN Physical Location
PureVPN started its journey back in 2006 – one of the pioneers in the online privacy industry – and since then it has only progressed and never looked back. From their humble 2-server beginnings, PureVPN has expanded their operation and now boast 2000+ VPN servers present in more than 140 countries.
While headquartered in Hong Kong; an increasingly tumultuous jurisdiction for a VPN provider (due to their relationship and proximity with China) PureVPN hosts their network, and DNS hardware means your information is more secure with them than with other VPNs. Recently, they have mentioned as an independent company registered in Malta. Here main question is, have they shifted their physical location or just the name of the country registered is changed in papers only? Recent FBI incident where PureVPN handed user’s information to FBI makes it even more doubtful, if PureVPN is actually located in Malta or somewhere else.
Unique Selling Proposition of PureVPN
We found that Split-Tunneling tool is a unique selling proposition offered by the provider. It allows you to exchange network traffic of selected applications, while all other data traffic flows from outside the VPN tunnel established upon VPN activation.
This is easy-to-use and can be enabled/disabled as required. It is ideal for you if you want to load off your VPN tunnel and improve the VPN performance. Heavy VPN users (Gamer, Torrent freaks, and Streamer) will love this feature.
PureVPN for Netflix
The (in)ability to stream Netflix is one of the hottest topics in the VPN community for now, as Netflix continually wiping the list of VPN services that work with Netflix. Luckily, there are still some VPNs that offer their users the possibility to watch US Netflix. Are you wondering whether PureVPN is among them or not? You are not alone. You will find the whole web with claims that PureVPN does work with Netflix and an equal number of claims that it has thrown in the towel long ago.
To test the claim, we tried to access Netflix using our servers in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Using the New York server, we weren’t able to access the Netflix, not even the website. We reached the site with another server, but still faced the annoying proxy error every time, that shows Netflix detect that we were hiding our IP and shut us down immediately. We tried to switch to Streaming Mode, but nothing worked. Of course, if Netflix flagged these IPs, then they’ll be blocked, regardless of the mode, we are in.
Next, we tried the Purpose option for server selection and went with Netflix US (Faster Streaming). Our first attempt went on for more than ten minutes. We hit Cancel, to have the cancellation attempt that continued for ten minutes. At this point, we uninstalled and reinstalled the app. The next effort also worked, and we connected to a New York server. This time, we accessed the Netflix but trying to watch the content we again faced with an error.
As per the PureVPN staff, “at the moment, it is possible to stream Netflix with PureVPN, but only for certain regions and on a limited number of operating systems.” Interestingly, PureVPN allows you to stream Netflix content for the following regions: the US, the UK, and France; sounds good, as we are mainly interested in streaming US Netflix. But with only two operating systems; Windows and Mac, so no smartphones, smart TVs, tablets or any other devices. However, our tests didn’t confirm these claims.
It was quite disappointing as we explicitly asked PureVPN reps twice about Netflix streaming for the US, the UK, and France and they explicitly responded that we could. Keeping these considerations, PureVPN has 210 US servers, perhaps it’s possible to stumble upon a new US server that has not yet been detected by Netflix, but we had no such luck.
So, conclusively it’s either entirely challenging to find a PureVPN US Netflix server, or it’s merely impossible.
PureVPN in China
PureVPN is advertised as the China VPN and has often been highly recommended for bypassing this country’s online restrictions. However, users have somewhat mixed feelings about PureVPN and, as always, things are not exactly black-and-white. The VPN service does work in China, but there are certain pros and cons that you need to consider before opting PureVPN as your go-to VPN in China.
Many VPNs do not operate in China, PureVPN has two optimal servers in Shanghai and two servers in Beijing. The best part is, the service offers specialized servers for China, maximizing your chances of accessing blocked content. We like the fact that PureVPN lets you go with SSTP protocol, which uses TCP port 443 and easily bypasses the Great Firewall of China. Bearing all the above in mind, PureVPN has gone far to provide qualitative service to its Chinese users.
Sadly, PureVPN’s website is blocked in China, so for that, you need another VPN to access the provider’s site. Furthermore, this otherwise fast VPN does not have impressive speeds in China, and it has been struggling hard to provide satisfactory service to users in that region. It’s somewhat unreliable due to diminishing functionality, while some users are facing trouble to get the work done.
PureVPN Review of Features
PureVPN’s Internet Kill Switch
The PureVPN has an additional layer of security commonly known as, Internet Kill Switch; it has designed to ensure uncompromising security. It merely pauses all your internet traffic in case your connection to the PureVPN server goes down unexpectedly.
Internet kill switch kills your internet activity if the VPN connection ends suddenly. PureVPN makes sure that your online activity gets a protective layer of VPN always. In case of a break, this feature allows it to break the internet connection as well. Internet kill switch makes sure unintentional reveal of your IP address to the ISP, hackers, surveillance tools, spammers, or malware. PureVPN gives you the liberty of switching it on/off as per your requirement. The option is available in the client software and apps. So that you can adjust it according to your needs. PureVPN has allowed internet kill switch by default.
PureVPN Encryption Protocols
Man-in-the-middle’ (MiTM) attacks were some of the oldest yet common ways that hackers used to access your sensitive information. You might not even sense anything is wrong, but somehow, someway, someone positioned between you and your connection (just like a browser or a website). Then they read your emails, see what websites you’re searching, record your session cookies, and even get personal information or passwords.
To combat these potential risk, PureVPN offers all major protocols, including OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and even IKEv2. While OpenVPN is your best buddy for security and speed, you also need to choose L2TP/IPSec based on device availability or PPTP (only when you’re not as worried about security).
There is no denying 256-bit military grade encryption in conjunction with 2,048-bit RSA keys that PureVPN does to ensure online protection to another level. Fortunately, you can avail the said feature on all the available pricing plans. Furthermore, the OpenVPN protocol offers the same level of encryption by default. Therefore, with PureVPN you do not need to worry about your online privacy as it provides the desired level of encryption without any hassle.
Ultra-fast Speed with PureVPN
One of the major concerns of using a VPN is that it will kill your internet speed. When you use a VPN, it routes your internet traffic through a secure tunnel, which raises the concern about speed. Fortunately, PureVPN has an automatic load balancing feature that helps in balancing the traffic load so that every customer can enjoy a decent speed. Upon conducting PureVPN speed test, we found PureVPN doesn’t impact the internet speed much. There is a slight drop of 5 to 10%, but that’s expected. We have witnessed at least 50% reduction in speed in some cases, so PureVPN is surely doing something right.
PureVPN Split Tunneling
Split tunneling is an exclusive feature of PureVPN. It gives the power in your hand to choose what goes through a VPN shield or what online activities don’t require the VPN. For instance, you can use VPN for accessing your online bank, torrent, and Netflix US while access Facebook, Google, Twitter or browse without VPN.
Split tunneling is the much-needed feature especially for corporate users who wish to access their company database servers and mail servers after being connected to a VPN for security reasons. It comes as a surprise that other VPN service providers have not copied this feature as it is a hit among customers.
VPN Servers of PureVPN
We have talked about the magnitude of PureVPN’s server network. PureVPN has more than 3400 VPN servers in six continents, 181 locations, and 141 countries. It has more than 81,000 IP addresses. It may seem like a typical establishment for a VPN. However, once you start looking at other VPNs’ setup, you realize that VPN’s network is far mature, advanced and more extensive. Also, it takes excellent commitment for a VPN service provider to expand the network. PureVPN seems to have the most massive presence in US, UK, Canada, and Australia and has at least two servers in other countries.
A VPN service is nothing without a broad geographical server base, and PureVPN seems to know this quite clearly. A good server spread is only sensible when it’s distributed in regions where restrictions are in place and where the internet freedom is TRULY a blessing, due to strict censorship policies. So that the users can enjoy maximum anonymity, accessibility, and security. Fortunately, PureVPN has a diversified server presence around the globe. PureVPN assists you in selecting servers by providing helpful icons in their server list. Want easy access, just mark specific countries or cities as favorites.
PureVPN WiFi Security
This a feature that an increasing number of VPN services are offering. It detects when you connect your device to an unsecured WiFi network and recommend you to enable the VPN. This feature could be useful in protecting you from hackers especially when using public WiFi hotspots.
Dedicated IP addresses of PureVPN
PureVPN offers two kinds of “dedicated IPs.” Traditionally dedicated IP a unique Internet Protocol (IP) address that belongs only to you. Just pay $1.99/month and get your personalized IP. This is great for accessing restricted services such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix, which block IPs belong to any VPN services. Since the dedicated IP is unique, so your IP does not reflect any association with a VPN service.
A unique IP also improves online security, since you’re using it to access bank accounts, internet-connected security cameras, remote servers, and others. Therefore, there’s no way that your data gets leaked. PureVPN also provides “dedicated IPs” exclusively for sporting events and online services. These temporary IPs can be bought for certain events. However, this kind of IP is not unique but can be handy for getting round VPN blocks.
P2P File Sharing on PureVPN Network
P2P file sharing or downloading means you get to download movies, TV shows, books, software, games, and music from Torrent. Since torrenting is illegal in many countries as anti-piracy laws, DMCA acts, and copyright agencies are watching like a hawk for a possible violation so they can slap the offenders with hefty fines and punishment. When the situation is this tough, most VPN providers try to avoid the extra trouble and don’t allow P2P file sharing.
Keeping the risks and threats to torrents, we recommend PureVPN, as it’s one of the safest yet economical solutions for safe torrenting. With one-click torrenting protection, it offers instant anonymity to users who want to download torrents without the fear of getting caught, but only on selected VPN servers.
While analyzing the service features of provider, we have discovered the benefits of using PureVPN for torrenting. Top reasons are:
- L2TP & torrent supported servers
- Remain anonymous to ISP
- Unlimited downloads (no bandwidth caps)
- Avoid DMCA notices & copyright trolls
- Safe, secure & anonymous torrenting
- Zero-logging policy
Important Note: Performing P2P activity in Australia can be dangerous; don’t take their consequences lightly. The Australian government has decided to take stern actions against users accessing pirated content; you may be legally sued shortly. Furthermore, the authorities have also ordered the ISPs to block sites and domain names with piracy content. Use torrents within Australia but at your OWN risk.
There are a few countries where torrent is still legal, and PureVPN has placed their servers there. So you can connect to the selected countries to enjoy torrenting.
PureVPN No Usage Logs
Let’s begin with the latest controversy,
A PureVPN customer recently identified and got arrested with the help of the connection logs that PureVPN keeps.
Before we begin, we must shed light on the two broad logging types – browsing logs and network logs – that were all in the midst of the chaos. Browsing logs are uberly private and the claim ‘No Logs Policy’ refers to the browsing logs. Whereas, Network logs are the bandwidth we use, which is only maintained by PureVPN and some other VPN providers, just to optimize their services. Network logs are just random numbers that reveal nothing.
PureVPN for Business
PureVPN is pretty focused on entertaining customers with corporate-scale needs that most VPN providers choose to skirt past the subject. PureVPN is sure a leader. It has a separate section for professionals and businesses. There is no space for mistakes in the professional world especially when it is about the data security and privacy.
PureVPN realizes this and has a unique package for them that come with features considered compulsory for business users. PureVPN offers exclusive business discounts, dedicated VPN portal, dedicated servers and IP addresses, special account managers, steady internet speed and a lot more. We have seen and experienced only good things about the business version of PureVPN. In hand. Corporate consumers can access PPTP, L2TP IPSec, and SSL/SSTP protocols along with a READY-TO-USE infrastructure setup for configuration and are offered a bandwidth of 10000 GB per month. Also, PureVPN also invites their corporate customers to suggest the company in customizing packages to cater specific business needs. In fact, there is a separate FAQ section only for corporate users.
PureVPN Review of Compatibility
The Process of PureVPN
Signing up is easy, you just have to provide a name and an email address, and these don’t need to be verified to register for the service. Upon sign up, PureVPN invites you to download the software. A confirmation email will send you with your account details to the given email address.
Other Platform PureVPN supports
PureVPN has customized apps for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. In addition to Android, also offers apps for the Amazon Fire Stick and Android TV along with browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, and yes, a custom applet for Kodi and DD-WRT. Phew! You will find the manual setup guides for a bewildering combination of platforms and VPN protocols including Linux and a variety of routers.
PureVPN for iOS
There are plenty of guides and instruction manuals to sail you through the installation process. We loved the new iOS app as it has been updated majorly. It is definitely better than the earlier version and addressed most of the issues of the previous one. Want to see how PureVPN works compared to other service provider? Check our dedicated post on fastest iPhone VPNs to see where PureVPN ranks.
PureVPN for Android
PureVPN is highly compatible with the Android platform. You can easily download a PureVPN Android app on your favorite devices. With the app, you are sure to get 99.9% uptime and unbelievable bandwidth.
Thus, you can attain fastest streaming processes and download in a hassle-free way. Additionally, the PureVPN Android app allows you to secure your smartphones and other data from hackers to a new height. The app looks smart and uses OpenVPN.
It is a surprisingly fully featured app, offering “Gravity,” port scanning/selection, a kill switch, split tunneling, and secure WiFi are all present and is working well. Download the app and unblock your required websites with a single click from anywhere and access almost all the most popular streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and others. We have ranked PureVPN as one of the most reliable Android VPN app in our latest guide.
PureVPN for Windows
PureVPN is also compatible with Windows. Since this operating system is the most used operating system in the world, PureVPN picked the vulnerabilities and blind spots that allow the hackers and spammers to abuse Windows’ users. You can install PureVPN to keep yourself protected from online threats, spams, and malware attacks. The Windows client is packed with useful features.
“Ozone” is an advanced firewall with few neat tricks up its sleeve. The “Antivirus” does not scan your files but blocks any attempt by malware that has got into your system while accessing the internet. Intrusion prevents the potentially malicious incoming connections. Looks useful, right? But sadly, it’s difficult to assess the filter comprehensively and effectively fully. We tried filtering websites categories such as “Peer To Peer” and “Pornography sexually Explicit.” Most adult sites were indeed blocked but connected to The Pirate Bay. “Gravity” is an extension of the Ozone firewall, and can also configure via a web interface.
It includes a safe search – to filters out explicit results from popular engine searches- and an ad-blocker. This is good if you don’t want to be exposed to such results, but tech-savvy kids can use this feature to browse less popular search engines. Click Ozone, and specify search engine results to filter.
By default, the Windows client follows the IKEv2 VPN protocol. We consider OpenVPN to be a better option, but IKEv2 is also good. You can also opt to go with the PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP protocols. But why would you?
It’s quite illogical why “256-bit encryption” is an option, particularly as it is a setting that changes with the “mode” you run the client in. It supposed to be enabled by default though. Again, why IPv6 leak protection is both optional and is disabled by default? The setting is deep inside within the client’s Advanced Options menu; there is a good chance that most users remain unaware. This reflects IPv6 users will likely expose their real IP to websites without acknowledging. The client offers a firewall-based kill switch but, requires granting the app admin rights. It’s possible to use your Windows device as a VPN hotspot. Means a VPN in your device protect other closely-related devices as well. The PureVPN Windows client has everything except the kitchen sink! but, not all these features work as advertised. We wish IPv6 leak protection supposed to enabled by default, or at least should not be deep inside.
PureVPN for Mac
PureVPN supports Mac as well. Mac is the second most used operating system in the world. This OS is known for its robust security system. However, the newer versions are full of loopholes. So using the internet without a VPN on Mac is suicide. Thankfully, PureVPN is highly compatible with the platform entirely. The Mac client is relatively the same as the Windows client.
It has Ozone, Gravity, and a kill switch but not include the port scanning/selection, split-tunneling or VPN hotspot, found in the Windows client. The Mac also missing IPv6 leak protection. Overall, in our PureVPN review, our experience with Mac client was incredible; easy to use and efficient. You can also check our latest best Mac VPN post and see how PureVPN managed to secure position in our top three providers.
PureVPN is compatible with more than 50 platforms including the popular four mentioned above. You can use PureVPN on Linux, HP WebOS, Blackberry, Boxee Box, DD-WRT, gaming consoles, and others. So there is a very high probability that you can use PureVPN, regardless of your device and operating system.
PureVPN Other Addons That You May Like
PureVPN Browser addons
In addition to the main VPN clients, desktop users can also install browser add-ons for Firefox and Chrome. These are very convenient for spoofing your location within the given browser, but if you want privacy and security, we recommend you to go with the primary client.
The Browser add-ons offer WebRTC leak protection and using a browser add-on is by far the best way to prevent WebRTC leaks. Therefore it’s a good idea to install these add-ons, even if you want to use the main client to hide your location and protect your online privacy.
PureVPN Add-on for Kodi
Fortunately, the provider does offer an exclusive PureVPN Kodi add-on to help Kodi-geeks, to watch their favorite content in a secured manner. This compatibility would turn out be a unique selling proposition in near future the Kodi community is increasing at a rapid pace. Streaming movies, TV shows, documentaries, and much more straightaway in the right screen.
PureVPN is continuously introducing impressive products regularly. Recently, the provider comes up with a Wouter; an improved version of routers with additional yet attractive features. This advanced product is highly compatible with numerous devices like Smart TV, Laptops, and others.
PureVPN Pricing Packages
PureVPN has three pricing plans based on payment schedules. They all come with the same feature set. The PureVPN pricing plans are mentioned below;
Month-to-month plan: It will cost you $11.95 every month.
Yearly plan: It comes at an astounding $5.75 per month but you have to pay lump sum amount of $69 every year. Purchase this plan and enjoy a staggering 51% discount
2-year plan- the most popular one, It will cost you $3.29 every month but it will be billed every 24 months at $79, with 72% discount.
PureVPN offers more than 50 payment options to the customers. It means you can pick any way to pay the subscription fee every month or year. You can pay through gift cards as PureVPN accepts gift cards from 10 different merchants. We have mentioned a few payment methods here;
- Gift Cards
PureVPN Free Trial
PureVPN does not provide a free trial. It is not a big deal as most of the VPN service providers don’t offer this option. However, it comes as a disappointment since PureVPN has exceeded our expectations in all other departments. So we were hoping to see this option, but unfortunately, it is not there.
Money Back Guarantee
We can digest the absence of free trial but only seven days of money back guarantee simply doesn’t make any sense. PureVPN belongs to the top league, and all the top VPNs provide at least a 30-day money back guarantee. The only 2-year plan offers a fully refundable 30-day money back guarantee, while with other plans, you need to think about it.
PureVPN Customer Support
Being a large provider, it’s no surprise that PureVPN offers a wealth of documentation to help you with everything right from getting started to troubleshooting to dealing with specific cases like bypassing great wall of China. You can find all the information by visiting the PureVPN Support Center under the My Account tab.
PureVPN customer support has been adorned with multiple options to help out the customers. It is quite easy to provide every available communication option but somewhat tough to maintain 24/7 presence on all the platforms. PureVPN does it all in a flawless manner. They offer support tickets, FAQs, forums, and live chat in their customer support endeavors.
Support tickets follow the same rule. You generate a ticket by providing your problem regarding a technical issue, billing woes, or a general complaint. You also provide a genuine email address and the team will get back to you via mail. We tried the support ticket system, and PureVPN team responded rather quickly.
The FAQs section is critical as it answers the question before the users can ask them. We found PureVPN’s FAQ section very precise and full of relevant information and knowledge. We are sure many users did not even need to contact the support team and got their answers from this section.
The forum is very active and full of enthusiastic people who like to discuss their issues and problems. PureVPN’s support team also participates often on the forum to resolve queries and guide people to the right path or direction. It is an excellent way for the support team to understand the recurring issues with the client software or app and resolve the matter for good.
Live chat is the most difficult of all to maintain because as soon as the word “chat” is used, people expect a real person who will communicate and solve their problem in real time. Most of these live chat windows are filled with autoresponders. PureVPN’s live chat is slightly better but expecting that a VPN provider will dedicate a team to simply chat with you is too much.
Customer support offers immediate assistance to general queries and concerns. Smaller and mid-sized problems always solved within moments. Problems with troubleshooting and setup assistance resolved quicker while user related problems tend to take longer.
However, upon testing, live chat delivered mixed results. The service was as usual prompt, and we were helped well with unblocking streaming sites. Contrary to that, we received some vague responses and even the refusal as well to a basic question related to security.
Tutorials Provided for Instant Assistance
Instructions manuals are available for other operating systems that are not catered with customized software. These include OpenVPN (for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 & 10) HP WebOS (Only for WebOS Version 3.0.2 and above), Linux, Blackberry, DD-WRT routers and Boxee Box.
The instructions guides are detailed, and most of the tutorials are supported with screenshots. The same goes for all mainstream OS including Mac. You can also select tutorials to download and install PureVPN on your preferred devices.
Is PureVPN Safe
The VPN has your username, email address, and phone numbers. The phone numbers are mandatory in a few countries only where it is required by law. Also, it is a good thing that PureVPN is based in HongKong. The country is known for its no data retention laws and better internet freedom for users. If it makes you feel any better, PureVPN has said it loud and clear that user information will not be shared with anyone voluntarily. But the recent controversy revealed the real colors.
In terms of technical support, PureVPN offers different protocols like OpenVPN, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP, and IKEv2. It has 128-bit encryption and 256-bit encryption. You can choose the best protocol and encryption option. We recommend using OpenVPN with 256-bit encryption level for maximum protection online. As if that’s not enough, PureVPN has a few add-ons that promise to enhance the security and privacy of the user.
Final Word on PureVPN
PureVPN is the most hated VPN by competitors because it is offering all in really economical pricing package. You – the customer – get an extensive network of 3452 VPN servers in 141 countries with 80,000 IP addresses, high-level encryption and protocol options, ultra-fast speed, multiple valuable features, money-back guarantee, swift customer support, compatibility with most devices and OS, 99.9% uptime, and impenetrable online security.
Of course, nobody is perfect, and PureVPN also has some flaws. It doesn’t offer a free trial or its money back guarantee is only for a two-year plan. However, if you compare it with the rest of VPN service providers, you will always find PureVPN slightly better than others. Our final verdict is PureVPN surely should get serious consideration from you as a potential VPN service provider, but keep the latest controversy in mind.
2017 has not been a favorable year for internet freedom in China, as the government decided to shut down all the unauthorized services. This decision has already forced users to say goodbye to GreenVPN, which was top-rated service in China, and unfortunately, PureVPN has also suffered the same fate.
Conclusively, we can say that PureVPN is still worth a shot, but not recommended to opt for a more extended subscription. You can give it a try with a monthly option, and if the service does not work for you, then you still have the 7-day money back guarantee.